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or double miles on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet? here's your invoice. hi, everybody. good morning. i'm thomas roberts. the gun debate picking up steam with the president's top gun making his case to the american people. this hour, joe biden is in virginia. his first stop of what's likely to be many as he fights to gain support for the administration's sweeping gun control plan proposed in the aftermath of the newtown shooting. and he brought some backup with him. joining the veep in richardson, janet napolitano and kathleen sebelius and tim kaine. biden's trip comes one day after senator dianne feinstein introduced her much-awaited ban on assault weapons. after biden's candid fireside chat on google plus. >> a shotgun will keep you a lot safer. a double barrel shotgun than the assault weapons in somebody's hands who doesn't know how to use it. even one who does know how to
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use it. it's harder to use an assault weapon than a shotgun. >> so as biden looks for outside support, the gop looking inward. today at their winter meeting, the rnc chair reince priebus expected to drop a truth bomb on his party. politico reporting he'll lay out his plan for republican renewal. one that will change the rules but not the party's principles. and louisiana governor bobby jindal dished out his tough love prescription for fellow gopers last night. >> we have to stop being the stupid party. it's time for a new republican party that talks like adults. time for us to articulate our plans and visions for america in real terms. no secret we had a number of republicans who damaged the brand with offensive and bizarre comments. i'm here to say we've had enough of that. >> we've got to speak out against the stupidities. we've got to stop being the stupid party and you start by disciplining your most stupid members.
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>> we have republicans speculating about the future. democrats are speculating about four years from now adding fuel to the fire, news that president obama will appear jointly with outgoing secretary of state hillary clinton for an interview this sunday on "60 minutes." now in the next 60 minutes, the president is expected to formally name his pick for his next chief of staff. dennis mcdonough, the president's current deputy national security adviser. a lot to get to this friday. we'll dig in and say good morning to today's political power panel from the white house, nbc news correspondent kristen welker, perry bacon, also political editor of the grio. cnbc contributor and b.e.t. columnist keith boykin and msnbc contributor robert, former senior adviser to president bush and assistant dean at georgetown university. all right, gang. we are all together and a lot to talk about. first thing i want to get to is about the vice president's push to get on the road and talk about gun control. each one of us needs to speck up and demand action. doesn't matter whether you live
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in a big city or a small town like newtown, connecticut. when our fellow americans are victims of senseless violence, we all pull together as one american family. keith, i'll start with you. is this based on the steam of the inaugural address, based on the steam of the gun control coalition that he put together? can he stay ahead of this curve because it seems like the appetite in washington, d.c., is going to fade quickly. >> yeah, he has to stay ahead of this curve. whether or not this is going to be enough to sustain this until the end of the debate is another question. but there will be another tragedy. we've seen other tragedies just since newtown. almost 1,000 people who have died of gun-related violence since that time. and i think the american people are getting to this tipping point where they've had enough. if you can keep the steam going, he may not be able to get everything but he can get something because the public wants this and the president is on the right side. >> one of the big things the president did yesterday was this google chat that i want to just play part of it. talking about how he does support the second amendment. but why the gun control that he's trying to push for is so
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important. take a listen. >> i am much less concerned, quite frankly, about what you call an assault weapon than i am about magazines and the number of rounds that can be held in a magazine. but the point is that the fact that violent crime is down and there's been a proliferation of assault weapons quote/unquote as was defined up to now on the street, does that suggest that taking the assault weapons off the street would not, in fact, make it safer, particularly for the folks who are mostly outgunned, cops. >> we should be outraged by how easy it is for perpetrators of these horrific crimes to obtain powerful military-style weapons. >> perry is that the biggest takeaway as the language continues to be about the fact that these are military-style weapons in civilian hands? is it going to be all about branding the message here as the
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gun control groups, like 1 million moms for gun control and others like them try to band together to get something done? >> the message is going to be very important here. i know democrats i've talked to told me they're trying to use the phrase gun violence prevention instead of gun control. because control is something that's not popular with a lot of people. one thing yesterday was dianne feinstein appears to talk about assault weapons ban. was not joined by any republicans. and that's the key thing. still, we're talking abouted bien is going to richmond, virginia, where eric cantor's district is and that's the move today. the white house, the democrats are really trying to find any kind of republican support. and right now what they are doing is trying to do that through the public, pushing the republicans on the issue. you look at the house republicans. 2 of the 234 house republicans have said they are supportive of some kind of gun control. that's a very small number. you can't pass a bill with such a small number of republicans on board. >> let's take a look at what
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gallup is putting out, what the appetite is across the country. regular everyday americans are saying about what they support. universal background checks, 91%. mental health programs at 82%. assault weapons ban, 60%. and then banning high capacity magazines, 54%. just take a listen, though, because chris murphy appeared with dianne feinstein yesterday and just about how personal this tragedy is for his state. >> republicans have to decide whether they are going to pay a political price for standing with the gun manufacturers and against millions of families across this country who want to get this done. >> so there he was on rachel last night. i want to talk to you, chris. it seems the vice president has geared up high-profile team of people to take on the road. can they get beyond virginia and what's next in their strategy? >> well, i think that you are going to see the vice president and the president continue to make trips like the one that vice president biden is making today. he will be there with some of the cabinet secretaries as well
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as democratic senator tim kaine. they'll hold a roundtable discussion. and the idea is to circumvent congress and to really build up public support for some of the gun safety measures that they are trying to get pushed through congress. they are going to a state like virginia trying to rally support there. of course, we just talked about the fact that's eric cantor's hometown. they're also trying to put pressure on moderate democrats like west virginia senator joe manchin who has traditionally said that he does not support stiffer gun laws until the tragedy in newtown happened. so they are really trying to put the pressure on more moderate members of congress to get them to vote for some of these gun measures. privately senior administration officials tell me they believe that they can get universal background checks passed. that they will see things including high capacity magazines. but, of course, that ban on assault weapons is still going to be the toughest one to get past. you've heard senator dianne feinstein reference that and the
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nra saying that banns just don't work. that's what they are working against. >> so the white house searching for support for that. the other big news is the fact that the gop is searching for its soul. i want to play for everybody exactly how bobby jindal really served a cold dish at the winter conference for the rnc last night. take a listen. >> we steam have an obsession with government bookkeeping. this is a rigged game and it's the wrong game for us to play. no, the (party does not need to change our principles but we might need to change just about everything else we are doing. >> he also went on to say we must stop being the stupid party. how is this being digested throughout republican ranks and strategists and thought leaders like yourself, that type of language? >> i'm hearing from both sides of this argument that most are saying thank you. thank you that finally someone has the courage within the party to speak the truth to power and a lot of people are saying i'm not necessarily sure i agree with the language. however, the facts do bear what they say. and they say that we lost pretty
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convincingly back in november. we lost based on the ideas. we based on the message. we lost based on the tone. and so what i think what you are hearing here, it's finally a group of thought leaders within the republican party whether it's jeb bush, bobby jindal, chris christie, reince priebus are saying we have to be much more thoughtful about our message but just as importantly, we have to develop a relationship, not just with the individuals out there that have certainly been the base of the republican party, which are white males but with brown people, with people that are -- that look much more different in the -- than have become the majority individuals in this country. so people are thoughtfully having this conversation on the national scale. >> there has been reaction to this. certainly writers penning different pieces today. the atlantic wire adam clark estes writes about jindal and his presidential hopes saying, here's a pro tip for all you aspiring politicians out there. if you are trying to win the support of a party and ask them to carry you to office, especially the highest naufs the
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land, it's probably a good idea not to call them stupid. keith, what do you think about this? this is the type of reality check that needs to be had and bobby jindal is a good a person as any to deliver a message like that. >> i think robert is exactly right. i'm glad to hear he's saying that. he's saying the exact opposite of what reince priebus is saying. bobby jindal is threading the needle. it's not a bad thing to call your party stupid because that's what bill clinton did in 1991 when he triangulated and started to create a new way for the democratic party. i think it's a strong message similar to what chris christie is doing. but there's a bigger problem here, thomas. and that is that the republican party is reshuffling the decks in the titanic. it's not the color of the paint on the ship. it's not even the technology of the ship. the problem is they are heading in the wrong direction and icing an iceberg and they don't want to deal with that. they are losing blacks by 90%, hispanics by 70%. asian americans by 70%. you can't win elections like that. >> they are looking for a soul
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right now in charlotte. reince priebus is going to handily win re-election to chair the rnc. thanks to our power panel today. breaking news to pass along to you right now from our nation's capital. a federal appeals court just ruled president obama violated the constitution when making recess appointments for a labor relations panel. the president claims he acted properly because the senate was in recess. but the court says not so. the senate was still technically in session. we'll have more on that coming up for you right here. also ahead, the big question of changing the rules. republicans in some swing states have a new plan for electoral votes. and it could change the entire political landscape. we bring in ed schultz. he joins me to weigh in on that. plus, check out this. a daring rescue after a teen gets trapped in a tree trying to escape those rough floodwaters. we'll tell you how that ended p up?
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developing right now in egypt, clashes and protests erupting on a dave celebration. violent skirmishes have been flaring up outside of tahrir square. up to 100 people were injured across the country today. and police battled fire bombs and fire crackers from protesters but our reporters on the scene say that most of the egyptians are jovial at those ongoing celebrations marking two years since the uprising that toppled former president hosni mubarak. we're going to keep our eye on what's going on in tahrir square and bring you details right here. back here at home from last-minute voter i.d. bills to laws limiting voting, republicans pulled out all the stops to try and win the
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presidency and the wheels haven't stopped turning. reince priebus is backing a plan by republicans in virginia and other battleground states that president obama won in 2012 that would change how those states electoral college votes are allocated. one electoral vote would be awarded to the winner of each congressional district. had that plan been in effect in 2012, instead of president obama gaining 332 to romney's 226, romney would have won with 226 electoral votes despite losing the popular vote. joining me now, ed schultz, host of the "ed show." let's take a look at how virginia would have gone if governor romney had take ten. president obama earned all 13 electoral votes. under this plan, romney would have earned 9 to the president's 4. virginia senate could take this up as early as next week. but they are kind of split on this. so what can people in the state of virginia do to keep from going this route? >> they are just going to have to work over their representatives n senators to make sure it doesn't happen.
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the delegates in virginia and the senators in that state, i think, are positioned to do this. it's a massive power grab. there is one republican named vogel who is talking about not going down this road. but you've got, you know, a republican governor and a republican lieutenant governor who would break the tie if there was a tie. so this is dangerous stuff. it's not illegal, but it is political dirty pool. and it's a real wake-up call to every grassroots organization in this country that you are going to have to win at the state level to prevent this, to protect the national elections. >> as we've seen, the incumbents get to draw the map but there 24 states we can use for examples of this when we talk about how nebraska and maine allocate their electoral votes. we use the most recent election, they have the congressional district method. we saw romney won nebraska's electoral. if it works for those two states, why not for others? >> the dichotomy, they are rural
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states. they don't have many congressional members to start with. obviously, have two senators. but we need to understand that the republicans aren't doing this because there's a lack of representation. they're doing this because they want to win the executive branch. they are doing this because they don't want a democrat in the white house. and they have realized the power that they have at the local level. and in the era of obstruction, on the heels of 380 filibusters in the senate, it sets the table to go ahead and do whatever you want. i believe it gives them license to say, well, the public is not pushing back on that. harry reid hasn't changed the rules. i mean, i think these two stories parallel one another. it gives a mind-set these l lawmakers can do go what they want and not be held accou accountable. this is urban versus rural. in the rural areas, a lot of conservative republicans who are trying to do a power grab and change the landscape of all of this. >> so let's talk about the senate filibuster. the modest changes that have been made. >> very modest. >> it's more of an evolution
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than a revolution. >> it's a sad day for liberals. after harry reid had been on record numerous times back in 2010, actually going to the well of the senate and praising senator amerimerkley and udall they change the role of the senate. and then last summer saying they need to change the filibuster role, nuclear option, constitutional option and now just caving in. what happened? my theory is, it's the gun debate. harry reid knows he can get 51 votes for the adult weapons ban but he's not going to get 60. so i think that that would really change the landscape in some senatorial elections in rural areas that would be tough on democrats because it would give the republicans a chance to say, see there's a gun grabber. this is what the democratic party is and he doesn't want to to be labeled that way. this is a serious 180 by harry reid. of course, yesterday what we saw was democrats who don't like it came right out and started praising the deal. they didn't bad mouth harry
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reid. they've closed ranks on this. but i just want to know. i think harry reid needs to step out and tell the american people, what has mitch mcconnell done for us to believe that he's not going to run the 113th as he did the 112th. >> the democrats could be behind the eight ball when it comes to this. do you cut harry reid slack for that? >> if you oar the problem here, thomas, is that there have not been honest brokers. and if you don't reel in the honest brokers, mitch has not -- mcconnell has not paid attention to the rules of the senate. statesmanship has left the building. it's all about power and obstruction. they need to learn a lesson. the democrats can't be worried about what's going to happen down the road. you can still be a chamber of deliberation, but you got to be a chamber of decision as well. there's been no decision whatsoever. this is not a good day for the democrats. and it's -- you'll not get
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climate change. you'll not get more revenue into the treasury through taxation. you'll not get the assault weapons ban. we haven't gotten anything on jobs. so tell me, mr. mcconnell, mr. reid, step out in front of the microphones and tell us what is going to be different. i think the country wants to know. >> ed schultz, always good to see you. you can catch ed here at 8:00 on msnbc. a lawmaker coming under pressure for proposing a bill that would make it a crime for rape victims to have an abortion. plus, fighting fair. i'm going to talk with the first female african-american combat pilot about the pentagon's new plan to allow women on the front lines. and then manti te'o sticking to his story that he's the victim of a cruel hoax. we hear from his so-called girlfriend for the very first time. the voice mails you need to hear to believe. jenna shared her recipe with sharon,
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dramatic video from australia shows the dangerous rescue of a teen swept away in floodwaters. you can see the rescuer and the victim trying to stay above the water. they pulled the boy to shore and the rescuer was swept away but later pulled to shore. here's a look at some of the stories topping the news right now. the brutal cold in massachusetts is leaving rivers frozen solid. this is the scene over the merrimack river in lawrence. the temps will start to rise early next week. today is treasury secretary tim geithner's last day on the job. breaking his tenure down by the numbers, he's made 99 official trips, testified at 167 hours, testifying before congress, and made 27 appearances on sunday talkers. geithner's successor jack lou is awaiting confirmation. rhode island's house of representatives overwhelm league endorsed marriage equality last night. the bill moves on to the senate
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but passage is not certain. and this just in. senator saxby chambliss will not be running for a third term. the republican from georgia planned to run for re-election next year. like the rest of america he's grown frustrated with partisan gridlock. herman cain says he will not be running for that open seat. we're learning more details from the manti te'o hoax. he released his voice mails he claims were from a man posing as the fake girlfriend believed later to have passed away from leukemia. >> hi. i'm just letting you know i just got here and i'm getting ready for my first session. and just wanted to call you to keep you posted. i miss you. i love you. bye. >> manti te'o insisting he was duped. katie couric asking him whether he can understand why people thought he was lying. >> i didn't lie. i never was asked, did you see her in person? and so through the embarrassment and the fear of what people may
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think that i was committed to this person who i didn't have a chance to meet and she all of a sudden died, now that scared me. >> "the new york post" reporting a young cousin of the alleged mastermind behind this hoax played a part of the phony girlfriend. noodle soup but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. woman: what do you mean, homeowners insurance doesn't cover floods? [ heart rate increases ] man: a few inches of water caused all this? [ heart rate increases ] woman #2: but i don't even live near the water. what you don't know about flood insurance may shock you -- including the fact that a preferred risk policy starts as low as $129 a year. for an agent, call the number that appears on your screen.
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now the ban has been officially lifted on women serving on the front lines of combat, the question becomes how and when the pentagon makes its ranks more gender neutral. leon panetta offered up his thoughts to those critics out there. >> in life, as we all know, there are no guarantees of succe success. not everyone is going to be able to be a combat soldier, but everyone is entitled to a chance. >> everyone entitled to a chance. joining me now, retired u.s. marine corps captain beirnese
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armor, the first african-american woman to become a pilot in the marine corps. it's great to have you with us. i'm sure this is really exciting news for you as you think about your history in our military service. i want to tell everyone that 152 women, and remind them, they have been killed in the iraq and afghanistan war. so advocates say it affirms what many have already said is happening, but in real terms, and in your opinion, how will this impact women serving on the front lines? >> you know, honestly, it's -- we're formalizing what is already happening. and when i enlisted in the army back in 1993, women were not allowed to even be combat pilots in the military. so history has changed even while i have been a service member. and formalizing it now and broadening the opportunities for women, not to just serve and fight by their side their brothers like they are doing now but also the promotions and the
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careers. it's well deserved. and women have already proven that we can be there and we deserve to be there. and without women out there, and on the front lines, like they are right now, our military couldn't do the job that it's doing now as efficiently and productively. >> captain, what do you say to those who draw questions and have questions about the physicality of war, whether they would say that women don't have enough upper body strength, that they can't run as fast as male soldiers, that their monthly cycle could interfere with being on the front line. these are all the same arguments that women have heard about being able to serve in the military in the first place. >> right. every woman won't be able to make the standards, and every man isn't able to make the standards. i can do more push-ups and pull-ups than some of the guys out there. so it's not a question of lowering standards. and, you know, the menstrual cycle, i'm pretty sure the women who want to volunteer for that know how to handle themselves physically.
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women aren't debilitated when that time of our physiology takes over. we still perform in corporate america, police officers, law enforcement. there's a documentary that's being produced right now called "unsung heroes" by frank martin. and it really catalogs the history of women in the military from the beginning. we need to reeducate america on what women are capable of and again what we're already doing. >> you bring up a point about that documentary, that film that's being done. there's this other documentary out called the "invisible war" nominated for an oscar that talks about the fact there are so many women and men that face nefarious sexual assaults and don't really have a voice to raise, to get things adjudicated properly. do you have concerns, though, about the cultural environment of the infantry based on how women have been treated so far? >> you know, i have to have some strand of faith that our
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leadership knows how to take this initiative forward. should women be punished or said they can't be a part of our military in certain ways just because the men would be unruly or take advantage of the women? sexual assault is a problem in our military. hands down. men are assaulted just as well as women. so it's a problem that we need to take care of universally, militarywise. >> captain vernice "flygirl" armour. i just figured out flygirl is your nickname, right? >> it is. it is. >> all right. i just want to make sure that i had that correctly. captain, we really appreciate your time and insights on this really important issue. thank you. >> i appreciate that. and with women's history month and black history month coming up, it's very timely. >> thank you again. moments from now, anti-abortion advocates will gather in d.c. for the march on life. house speaker john boehner, former presidential candidate rick santorum are among those who will be speaking there.
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and that's their right to march. but over the last few years, we've seen women's health rights come under a vicious attack from virginia republican governor bob mcdonald pushing an invasive ultrasound bill to mississippi trying to push personhood bills and todd akin saying women's bodies had a way of shutting down pregnancies during a legitimate rain. now a lawmaker has introduced a bill that would force rape victims to carry their babies to term and their babies would be used as evidence during a court trial. under the bill sponsored by the state representative, kathryn brown, a rape victim who had an abortion would be thrown in jail for tampering with evidence. joining me is pat davis, the executive director of progress now in new mexico. it's great to have you here, pat. you are on the front lines of what's going on there. obviously, trying to steer people in the right direction of information when it comes to a policy like this. so explain how the progressive
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agenda in new mexico is trying to combat what kathleen brown is trying to do. >> good morning, thomas. thanks for having us. you know, as we look at what happened -- exactly what's happening in washington and in santa fe and across this country, pokes a folks are comio celebrate and recognize protections for women and roe v. wade and this week we have people in our tea party caucus introducing bills like this. and, you know, i don't think they ever thought there would be this big firestorm of controversy behind it. but the same things we're seeing in virginia are what are happening in states like this. new mexico is traditionally a pretty progressive community. we have moved forward on protecting women's rights for years. but there are -- there's a growing caucus of these tea party and crazy conservatives on the right who are opposed to that kind of progress and they are doing what they can with some of these sleeper bills they hope nobody would notice. >> pat, i want to play what jean moynihan president of march for life said this morning on the
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daily rundown about the current abortion movement. take a listen. >> if you went to the march today you'd see a number of young, shining energetic faces. this isn't an extreme radical issue. this is the new normal. >> so this is the new normal. so explain to us the new normal for a state legislature, you know, state legislator in new mexico is to actually have a woman come forward to say, you know, admit that she's been raped, she's impregnated and they'll make her carry that baby to term? >> that's exactly right. that's exactly what this bill said. if you think about todd akin's legitimate rape comments and now that exposed a big section of the right wing ideology, this is the next step of that. it's saying if you were raped, as victims of rape, survivors of rape if you want to prove your case, we're going to require you to carry your baby to term so we can label it exhibit a and trot it out into a courtroom. and without that you have essentially destroyed the evidence that they would use to
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prosecute this. i mean it is such an extreme and odd bill. but at the same time it's a natural extension if you think about it, from that right wing sort of perspective. what's even more scary is this bill was introduced in the first 24 hours got ten republican co-sponsors for it before we reached the flag. this is something we're having to watch. >> pat davis, executive direct offer progress now new mexico. pat, thanks for your time. we appreciate it. >> thanks. up next, the blue star state. how democrats plan to turn the reliantly state of texas blue. >> most of you see me every day acting the part of straight jacob. >> all right. so he ended the act right there. a high school student coming out in front of his entire class. jake is going to join me next. and our next question for you, does the gop need an extreme makeover? tweet us your thoughts at
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thomasaroberts or find me on facebook. first full team gathe! i wanted to call on a few people. ashley, ashley marshall... here. since we're often all on the move, ashley suggested we use fedex office to hold packages for us. great job. [ applause ] thank you. and on a protocol note, i'd like to talk to tim hill about his tendency to use all caps in emails. [ shouting ] oh i'm sorry guys. ah sometimes the caps lock gets stuck on my keyboard. hey do you wanna get a drink later? [ male announcer ] hold packages at any fedex office location. so i used my citi thankyou card to pick up some accessories. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? and with all the points i've been earning, i was able to get us a flight to our favorite climbing spot even on a holiday weekend. ♪ things are definitely looking up. [ male announcer ] with no blackout dates, you can use your citi thankyou points to travel whenever you want. visit to apply.
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the mis-shaped red blood cells that cause sickle cell disease may be able to fight cancerous tumors. a team of researchers used mice to discover a method to use the sickle-shaped cells to block blood vessels from entering tumors effectively killing them. researchers say this new method may one day help treat human cancers. so breaking news we reported earlier from our nation's capital where a federal appeals court just ruled that the president violated the constitution when making recess appointments for a labor relations panel. the president claims he acted properly because the senate was in recess. but the court says that's not so. the senate was still technically in session. joining me now to fill us in,
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nbc news justice correspondent pete williams and jimmy williams. pete, break this down for us. the court's ruling. why were the president's three recess appointments deemed unconstitutional? >> for two reasons. the court looks at the wording of the constitution and says -- it says these can be made during the recess, not any recess. the recess which the court says is only the long break between sessions of the senate. so these little brief breaks like for a holiday, the court says don't count. you can't do recess appointments during them. second, the court said you can only make recess appointments for vacancies that arise during a recess. that's the whole point for this phrase in the constitution. they say back in the days when members of congress could not get on a plane and come rushing back to washington and were in their districts far flung across the country in the early days of our republic, if there was a vacancy, the president didn't have to wait until congress came back to town months later. so for both of those reasons, they say these appointments were invalid. >> all right. jimmy, this is a victory for republicans.
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what are the implications because this is not a good way to start for the president's second administration. to get this handed down. >> well, pete is right. this is -- the court ruled correctly. they were not in technical recess. what he did was unconstitutional. what does it mean? it means that everything -- those appointees, plus the appointment of richard cord ry t the consumer financial protection bureau, anything those two agencies sent out as rulings now can be deemed invalid or null and void. that can affect all kinds of things from credit cards, interest rates, anything that those two agencies had done now is gone. it's over. it didn't count. and so for the republicans and for the chamber of commerce and other business groups, this is a big victory. but there's -- that's a short-term victory. the problem with it is this never would have happened had republican senators not been filibustering these nominees to begin with.
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>> pete, real quickly, where does it go from here? the white house counsel obviously reviewing this. >> it's going to go to the supreme court. they'll have to have the last word on this. the business groups have been fighting this in courts all over the country. so it's going to be probably the supreme court that will have to resolve it. >> nbc's pete williams, jimmy williams, appreciate you being here. >> so democrats will soon be spending big to flip a perreniel red state into a blue state. politico reporting battleground texas plans to spend tens of millions to make that happen. they will identify and engage latinos and other democratic leaning voters. and this may be more than just a hope because the president, well, he made a similar prediction while speaking in san antonio last summer. >> so let me just say -- let me just say this. in the next four months, you guys won't see him because, you know, you aren't considered one of the battleground states, although that's going to be changing soon. >> changing soon. joining me now, wayne slater,
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senior political writer for the "dallas morning news." great to have you here. you have covered texas and national politics over the last 20 years. we remind everybody the last time texas went blue was in the carter days. the latino vote overall overwhelm league gone to democratic candidates over the republican ones. so as we drill down to texas specifically and its exploding latino population is that what democrats are seizing on to see this demographic advantage? >> that is exactly what they are seizing on. that is exactly it, thomas. you see this growing hispanic population. a population disproportionately votes for democrats. and so you now see this new national group recognizing that texas, which is the big enchilada in terms of electoral votes is so important. if it could get a growing number of hispanics out and voting in texas, to turn texas within four years from red to blue, those
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electoral vote gs with reliably blue states like california and new york and the next president of the united states could very well be a democrat who is halfway there with three states. >> it's huge. even texas republican senator ted cruz realizes that. the handwriting in the wall saying, not -- in not too many years, texas could switch from being all republican to all democrat. if that happens, no republican will ever again win the white house. the republican party would cease to exist. is their only recourse right now to be out in front of immigration reform and being on the front edge of what they can do there to own that hot button issue? >> yeah. for republicans, nationally and certainly in texas, be on the right side of the immigration issue and whatever republicans and democrats think of rick perry, he was always more moderate on immigration. people like ted cruz and george p. bush, that's jeb bush's son who will run for office next
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year is a kind of republican hispanic candidate who could hold off this move by democrats if it's successful. if not, then you see democrats moving, and i think ultimately it will happen, if not in four years, certainly six or eight years, when democrats will begin to win again big time in texas. >> you mentioned george p. bush, jeb's son running. what about the hopes of jeb. when this country thinks of tex athey think of that as bush country. what about jeb's hopes for 2016 if something like this happens or at least the inroad is laid now so early on. >> that's only -- that's absolutely good both for the republican party nationally and, frankly, for his son george p. bush from texas. george will run for a statewide office here and set himself up for a possible gubernatorial run in 6 to 8 to 12 years in texas. jeb bush is exactly the kind of republican who might be able to hold off an appeal to this growing hispanic constituency in states like texas and
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nationally. if the republicans pick someone like jeb bush, he would really be a significant player against possibly a hillary clinton. if hillary clinton, very popular in southern texas, among hispanic voters, very strong among some white voters. if she were the nominee in four years from now for the democratic party, i could see the possibility in november of 2016 that hillary clinton wins texas and wins the white house. >> wayne slater, senior political writer for the "dallas morning news." thanks for your time. i appreciate it. we asked, you answered. does the gop need an extreme makeover? she says, yes, they do. i miss have a two-party choice in elections. and then from at dodger fan, is there something bigger than extreme because i'm not sure an extreme makeover is sufficient. yeah. keep those comments coming in on twitter and facebook. and have legible names here.
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a new jersey teen recently named his high school's best actor, said is he tired of acting in real life, so when 18-year-old jacob rudolph accepted his award last friday, he bravely stepped on to that stage and out of the closet. take a listen. >> most of you see me every day. you see me acting the part of straight jacob. move me out of the way because i am gi, and that's how i'm going to act. >> lots of applaud. jacob rudolph joins me now in studio. it's great to have you here. we all saw this in the newsroom and thought it was fantastic for you. certainly the response that you got. why did you want to do it in that fashion? why did you want to reveal yourself in that way? >> well, first off, i would like to thank msnbc for having me, but i decided to do it in that way initially because i made the immediate connection between the irony of me acting every single
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day of my life and me being a stage actor, but as i started thinking about it more and more and i talked with very close gay family friend, he explained to me that by performing this speech in front of all of my peers and then having it videotaped especially, i would not only be coming out for myself, but coming out for those kids who maybe don't have the courage or don't know how to do it in the right way. >> so what's the reaction that you've gotten? we saw the applause and the cheers that you got there. immediately. how have people been approaching you or treating you since you made that announcement? >> well, my high school has been nothing but supportive, and i capital thank them enough for that, but i've received countless facebook messages from people i've never met before in my life, internationally even, congratulating me for what i did, saying how much they respect me and how brave it was for me to do what i did, but i just have to reiterate that it really wasn't for me at that point. it was really for everybody else in the lgbt community. >> it's very empowering. so you're a high school senior. you graduate this summer. what's next?
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>> hopefully i'll get to attend the berkeley college of music for their music business program. >> real quickly, in your announcement, you used the phrase lgbtt. >> i did, yes. >> explain what the extra t is for because normally i in coverage all always just say lgbt. >> well, technically it's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersexed and al. that's like the full acronym. >> right. >> i intended to come out as an lgbt and not say either bisexual or gay or straight because i feel like those are the labels of the past, and especially in modern times when people are really questioning who they like and what they like, i think that saying i'm bisexual, it could change in the future. i could be exclusively for one sex or the other, so i think that putting it in a more general term like lgbt is extraordinarily appropriate even though i'm not a lesbian or a transgender. >> well, we appreciate you explaining that to us, but
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congratulations to you, and best of luck in the future to you. hopefully berkeley is out there paying attention. jacob rudolph, thanks so much. that's going to wrap things up for me today. thanks for your time. now with alex wagner is coming up next. what's coming up? >> so many things, thomas. happy friday. >> happy friday to you too. >> vice president joe biden is quarterbacking the drive for gun safety while lawmakers try to push reform over the goal line. are grassroots efforts the only way into the end zone? we'll tackle that with the brady campaign's colin goddard and guest hans nichols, joye reid, and ben smith. plus, bipartisan agreement actually took place in washington. what was harry reid's filibuster packed with mitch mcconnell a do nothing deal? and we will wade through the murky waters all now when "now" starts with a mere 180 seconds. turkey breast with stuffing is a great reason to slow down. creamy mash potatoes, homestyle gravy
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